Wednesday, July 12, 2017

the cake | bekah brunstetter

Pacific Theatre lives in a building that also houses an Anglican congregation - our landlords and friends at Holy Trinity Church. For a while there - in the midst of the civil wars that did so much damage to the Anglican community around Vancouver - PT staged a series of plays that sought to humanize people on all sides of the controversy. Mass Appeal, Prodigal Son, eventually Leave Of Absence. None of them propaganda for one viewpoint or the other; "you want to send a message, use Western Union." Just stories that live in the middle of Big Questions. It's been a while now, but we've kept our eyes open for more, including conversations with ZeeZee Theatre about a hoped-for someday co-production. Haven't yet read "The Cake," but it looks promising...

excerpted from
'This is Us’ to ‘The Cake,’ Bekah Brunstetter Has a Full Plate
by Robert Ito
New York Times, July 11, 2017
link to full article

LOS ANGELES — In “The Cake,” a baker, congenial and accommodating in just about every other respect, refuses to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Sound familiar? The play was inspired in part by a run of similar rebuffs across the country, by vendors who felt that it would compromise their religious beliefs to help commemorate such a union. In most cases, the bakers and spouses-to-be are strangers. But what if they weren’t? What if the baker were the best friend of the bride’s mom, a lifelong friend, practically kin?...

With “The Cake,” Bekah Brunstetter drew a lot from her own experiences growing up in Winston-Salem, N.C., alongside three brothers, all who served or are serving in the Marines, and attending a Southern Baptist church, which she said was all about love, “not the fire and brimstone kind.”

In the play, Jen (Shannon Lucio) returns to her hometown in North Carolina to marry Macy (Carolyn Ratteray), an African-American New Yorker who doesn’t eat gluten (and, hence, cakes) and doesn’t particularly care for the South. When Jen enlists Della (Debra Jo Rupp), who loves baking and Jen almost as much as she loves Jesus, to create her wedding cake, it nearly kills Della to say no.

“The Dellas of the world are wonderful, loving people,” Ms. Brunstetter said. “I want Jen and Macy to be full human beings, and I want us to root for their love. But there are lots of plays and movies about Jen and Macy. There really aren’t very many about Della.”

Ms. Ratteray agreed. “I’m queer and I’m black, so of course I side with Macy,” she said. “But you definitely feel for Della, and I think it’s because Bekah wrote her with such incredible humanity and heart.”...

“I’m fascinated by stories where somebody said this stupid thing, and then all of a sudden, we all hate them, they’re horrible people,” she said. “I always have sympathy for them, because I say stupid things all the time. I’m probably saying something stupid right now.”

The play was a way for Ms. Brunstetter to have a conversation with her parents about gay marriage without actually doing so. “I’ve tried to talk to them about why I support gay marriage and why I support my gay friends, and those conversations never really go anywhere,” she said. “I’m horrible at arguments. But when I’m writing a scene, I get to say what I wish I had said.”...

Jennifer Chambers, the director, who worked with Ms. Brunstetter on the play from its earliest days at the Playwrights Lab, knew that she had a strong drama from the start. “But I can’t tell you how many times we went, I wonder if this is still relevant?” she said. “Because it really did feel like, culturally, we were moving away from this. And then Trump became president, and the show has taken on a whole other tone.”

She’s also working on three new musicals. One is a piece with Karen O, the lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, called “Hearts Beat So Loud”; another is an R&B musical co-written by Cinco Paul (a writer of the “Despicable Me” series), about a young Mary Magdalene falling in love with a teenage Jesus. “I’ve actually already written a few plays about Jesus as a teenager,” she said, “so I had some material all ready to go.”...

Oh! So maybe Ms Brunstetter has more than one script we should take a look at...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

july 12-15 | still the kettle sings

Our friends at Plan Z Theatre present, THE KETTLE SINGS, running on the PT stage from July 12th-15th! Come support the all female dream team in this brand new devised piece created and performed by many PT artists.

You’re sitting in your Mom’s kitchen, listening to her casually tell you over a cup of tea about something jaw dropping she once did. You are floored - you almost don’t believe her. You're still reeling from the first when you suddenly realise there could be more...

“Mom, tell me another story,”

In her words you are suddenly whisked away into a world that is somehow recognisable and somehow a dream, the lightness of childhood and the gravity of age juxtaposed. She transforms the ordinary to the extraordinary within each sentence. Then it hits you, you realise she herself is the adventure and her life the magnificent tapestry she weaves with her stories.

This is a brand new Canadian play devised from actual interviews with these extraordinary ordinary women. Featuring childbirth, corn chips, verbatim text, joy, fear, original music, and a whole lot of perseverance. Devised theatre at its finest and boldest.

Direction • Eleanor Felton
Assistant Direction • Shelby Bushell
Set Design • Sarah Mabberley
Lighting Design • Sophie Yufei Tang
Stage Management • Linnea Antos
Original Music • Mikaela Fuqua

Featuring • Jenna Gru, Jill Raymond, Shona Struthers, and Shelby Wyminga

Tickets $20 at
It runs July 12-15 at 8pm, no matinees
General Seating

"Storytelling is vital to the human experience! Stories allow us to see into another person's reality, entertain what it might be like to be in their shoes. I would venture to say that without stories, the world would be incredibly devoid of compassion and empathy. Story telling helps us understand where we may have come from, who we are, and who we aren't. It gives us the opportunity to consider how we may improve society/the world by inviting others in."| Jenna Grubaugh | Actor

"I think [the storytelling] comes in two parts, the sense that someone wants to listen, and the bravery to share. This show will provide a space for both: We will ask for stories, and we will become the voice to share it widely. I also hope it will inspire daughters and sons to actively ask their Mom or Grandma about their lives." | Eleanor Felton | Director

Monday, July 03, 2017

july 5-8 | problem child | lindsay curl

PROBLEM CHILD, by George F. Walker opens Wednesday, July 5th! Come out and support emerging artist and current apprentice Lindsay Curl on the PT stage. For tickets visit

R.J. and Denise, two dysfunctional parents from the wrong side of the tracks, are trying to get their baby out of the system and back in their arms. But… they have to get around Helen, the by-the-book social worker who isn’t budging. With the help of Phillie, the drunken motel employee, how far will Denise and R.J. go to reunite their family?

Determination, delusion, and dark comedy. Stone's Throw Productions launches full speed ahead into the absurdist Problem Child, by one of Canada's most prolific playwrights, George F. Walker.

ADVISORY: Strong language

Directed by Alex Kirkpatrick
Featuring Lindsay Curl, Tim Howe, Jalen Saip and Conor Stinson O’Gorman
Stage Management by Charissa Hurt
Sound and Lighting Design by Theo Bell
Costume Design by Lindsay Curl
Set Design by Alex Kirkpatrick
Marketing and Communications by Amanda Millar

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

june 28-july 1 | danny and the deep blue sea | paige louter

DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by John Patrick Shanley, opens tomorrow at 8:00 pm! Come out and support current apprentice, Paige Louter on her final project. For tickets visit our website at or call our box office at 604.731.5518. See you tomorrow night!

Battered, bruised, and desperate for connection, Danny and Roberta collide in a grimy bar in the Bronx. As they battle their pasts and each other, they must decide if they dare to lower their defenses and risk truly being seen. From the playwright of Doubt and Outside Mullingar, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is a violent, funny, and intimate portrait of two broken people fumbling toward hope.

John Patrick Shanley is a New York-based American playwright, screenwriter, and director. His work has garnered him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a Tony Award, and an Academy Award, among many other honours. Shanley has written more than 23 plays which are produced around the world. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, his second play, premiered in 1983.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is subtitled “An Apache Dance”, which is a violent dance for two, originating in Paris. The dance is a grueling ordeal in which the woman pursues the man and is subjected to increasingly violent rejections. Danny turns this dynamic on its head- Danny and Roberta trade blows and swap the roles of pursuer and pursued. Shanley dedicated this play “to everyone in the Bronx who punched or kissed me, and to everyone whom I punched or kissed.”

Directed by Kenton Klaassen
Featuring Paige Louter and Joel Butler
Stage Management, Lighting and Props Design by Phil Miguel
Sound Design by Shona Strutters
Set and costume design by Paige Louter

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

june 21-24 | between the sheets | danielle klaudt

BETWEEN THE SHEETS by Jordi Mand, opens tonight at 8pm on the PT stage! Come out an support current apprentice, Danielle Klaudt and PT artist, Kerri Norris as they bring this story to life. Call our box office or visit our website at to book in your tickets. See you tonight!

What begins as an ordinary parent teacher interview unravels into a gripping and raw confrontation between two women on the brink of disaster. One woman is fighting to protect her family. The other is fighting for the family she always wanted. A roller coaster ride about love, betrayal, and right versus wrong.

ADVISORY: Sexual content, mature language.

“A stunning new play from a gifted playwright.” – The Slotkin Letter

Directed by Laura McLean. Featuring Danielle Klaudt and Kerri Norris.

Friday, June 16, 2017

pt's guide to the jessies 2017

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards ceremony is just over a week away! Many PT artists were nominated for their outstanding work in productions around town. As always, here is your PT-friendly guide to the Jessies! Congratulations, everyone! Your PT family is cheering you on!

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role
Katharine Venour, WIT, Pacific Theatre
Past Pacific Theatre productions: WIT (2016), MEASURE FOR MEASURE (2014)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Craig Erickson, ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, The Arts Club Theatre Company
Past Pacific Theatre productions: LEAVE OF ABSENCE (2013)

Andrew McNee, ROMEO AND JULIET, Bard on the Beach
Past Pacific Theatre productions: THE SEAFARER (2014), JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN (2011)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Itai Erdal, MOONLODGE Urban Ink
Past Pacific Theatre productions: JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN (2011), GODSPELL (2010)

John Webber, PERICLES, Bard on the Beach
Past Pacific Theatre productions: (Lighting Design) HOLY MO! A CHRISTMAS SHOW! (2016), FREUD’S LAST SESSION (2015) (Set Design) WIT (2016)

Outstanding Set Design
Drew Facey, BROTHEL #9, Touchstone Theatre
Past Pacific Theatre productions: VALLEY SONG (2017), THE WHIPPING MAN (2015)

Pam Johnson, BAKERSFIELD MIST, The Arts Club Theatre Company
Past Pacific Theatre productions: (Costume Design) COMMUNION (2013)

Lauchlin Johnston, THE FLICK, The Arts Club Theatre Company
Past Pacific Theatre productions: (Lighting Design) OUTSIDE MULLINGAR (2017), WIT (2016), THE WHIPPING MAN (2015)

Outstanding Costume Design
Carmen Alatorre, PERICLES, Bard on the Beach
Past Pacific Theatre productions: GODSPELL (2010)

Sound Design or Original Composition
Steve Charles, MOONLODGE, Urban Ink

Steve Charles, OTHELLO, Bard on the Beach
Past Pacific Theatre productions: (Musician) OLD TIME GOSPEL (2014)

Outstanding Direction
Katrina Dunn, BROTHEL #9, Touchstone Theatre
Past Pacific Theatre productions: PRODIGAL SON (2006)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

eastside story guild is hiring!

Our friends at The Eastside Story Guild are hiring two positions for September 2017! They are currently looking for one or two fabulous people to join their team. Check out their website for more information.

stone's throw productions | 3 for $30

Looking for some summer evening fun? Why not check out the Stone's Throw Productions shows coming up on our PT stage? Better yet, come see all three shows for only $30! Check out our Stone's Throw Productions page on the PT website for more information, or call our box office at 604.731.5518 from 12-4 pm to book your tickets today!